SPF10 -- my barn is metal. The overhang on your barn is almost exactly what I'm looking for ... down the road. I'm sort of leaning toward Bluey's idea of putting in one, and then as the budget permits, doing another and so on. The only problem with that is trying to get someone out here to put in one door. The contractor guys do not like to come out here for a little job. However ... right now I have so many little jobs that they add up to a big job. Hmmm ... I should call the contractor and let him know this, as I am pretty sure he is putting me off because my jobs are all small.
DO NOT SKIMP on quality of hardware. Over build. Use stout hinges, and lots of them. The horses will lean on the doors, try to bolt over the doors, play over the doors and the doors WILL sag...and over time the bolts will not line up for closure.
You can help prevent sagging with a rubber stall guard clipped just above the lower door, but with some horses I'd worry about pawing/rearing and getting a leg hung up in it. Maybe a secured board run through slots on the interior of the top of the door, (with no gaps) and a way to slide it in and out would work.
The horses will stick their heads out and gnaw on what they can reach of the structure's exterior. They will also chew on the top of the lower door. Get metal flashing on it immediately.
A lower door with a metal grill track bib may work well. It won't help the blow in issue, so you could possibly work up to having both top options:
No rain: lower door and top grill with neck slot.
rain: close tho outer top door over the grill.
Dutch doors, if you can swing it (no pun intended!) - I've got two on my one (double sized) stall, as well as a window on the front side of the barn.
Picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14913413@N02/8555052578/
Honestly, I don't think that a window is going to be much cheaper than a dutch door - in fact, my window is just the top half of a dutch door (at least, that's how I described it to my barn guys).
Don't worry about the lack of an overhang - it'll be fine - we've been through one hurricane, and the remnants of a couple more since my barn went up and there's no problem with any weather getting through the doors when they're closed. That may well be more of a building site orientation issue than a door or window or overhang issue.
And you can add kick latches to really secure the bottoms if you're concerned about security issues if you won't use them as doors for the time being.
yes, if you want a solid shut door like Bdjs, I'll guess your 'blow in' kinda rain would be minimal....but if you want 'open window' option out of the top half you will get rain /water in without an overhang...(just sayin'!) (as in what she said: No problem of weather getting in IF THEY'RE CLOSED.)....my back walls poured water in, until we extended the overhang 3 foot. now...dry as a bone even in downpours!
"Indecision may or may not be my problem"
I think, given our winters, that we need to have solid uppers and lowers.
My main reasons for wanting an overhang are:
1. 3 of the stalls are west-facing, and so get very hot in the summertime. An overhang would actually help cool the entire barn.
2. If we are gone for a weekend, and horses are kept "in" they could have in/out privileges to their turnouts with the doors open -- and should a storm blow up while we are gone, the overhang will keep the interior dry.
Given the plan is for turnouts right from the barn, I'd go with the dutch doors "now" so you only have the disruption of construction once. The framing for the door versus the framing for just a window is a similar amount of labor when you get down to it. Why do it twice?
SPF10 - I Love your barn! That's pretty much what I have pictured for our new barn. What size is it? We were planning on 30 by 50 plus the 12 foot overhang. The way yours is set up it would work great at our location.
I would like to think I will die an heroic death...
But it's more likely I'll trip over my dog and choke on a spoonful of frosting.
Renae makes some good points about the windows -- especially for winter, when I would probably have the dutch doors shut up tight, and thus no light coming in.
I guess I really have to decide whether I want to do the turn-outs or not. Obviously, windows and DONE is cheaper than dutch doors + over hang + turn outs ... Yes, this requires some serious thought and cost/benefit analysis.
Aww, thanks KR! I love my little barn - it's not fancy, but it's what I wanted and it really works well for me.
I get why you want an overhang - if those stalls are on the west side, it will help keep things cooler in the summer (mine face east - so we get warmth in the winter mornings, but shade in the late afternoon in summer). I actually don't ever close that first stall door - it stays open all the time, so the Princess can come and go as she pleases, no matter the weather. Most of our weather comes from the west, so that keeps most of the "blow-in" weather under control. (That said, la Princesa prefers the run-in on the south side of the barn, but the Old Man liked to stand in the stall with just his head sticking out).
If you make your overhang deep enough and close off one end, you could use it as a run-in and the horses wouldn't even need to go into the stalls (unless you wanted to give them access).
ETA: While I primarily put the dutch doors on my barn for convenience's sake (it makes that area a handy small turnout that has it's own shelter), I do like having them as an emergency exit, too. It's not much (and my barn is teeny), but if something terrible happened, it is a little extra peace of mind.
And when I rented a barn that didn't have doors that opened into the turnout area many years ago, that was one of the things that stirred the "If this were MY barn" thoughts...
Last edited by bdj; Jun. 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM.
Reason: just saw a follow-up!
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
My barn also faces west, and we built an overhang (12 x 48) along that side of the barn. Honestly--it wasn't hard and we did it ourselves (DH and I). We also cut out and framed our Dutch doors, and built them of 2x6 fir lumber for the bottom doors. Definitely go with massive hinges! Our doors are VERY heavy, and tall (4 1/2 feet I believe..maybe even 5), and have stood up to babies and big, heavy warmbloods. Our top doors are 3/4 inch marine grade plywood, and are pinned back most of the year. We get a lot of wind (out of the east) and snow and copious rain, and I really don't close those doors until absolutely necessary. For ease of turnout, and happiness of horses, I vote for Dutch doors!
Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!
We boarded at a lovely barn with large windows (like the top of a Dutch Door) on most of the stalls. Stalls were nice, bright and horses loved looking out the window.
Got a call one night there was a fire at the barn. Of the 11 in the barn, three were lost and one majorly injured. We had a loss and the injured horse.
The fire had gotten up into the loft and come down the front of the last three stalls on the right. The horses weren't inclined to come out through the flames. One of our guys ran into the corner and wouldn't move for love or money. We are just grateful that the brave person trying to get him out quit when they did. THEY just made it out before the roof fell in.
They were trying to convince Alex to come out his window, out the door anything. The next horse in was the type who was difficult to handle and was half nuts with the ruckus going on as was the guy next to him.
Something fell out of the hayloft onto Alex's back and he left jumping out the window and ran off on fire. Came back a little later, fire out, but badly burned.
My choice from now on is always two exits out of the stall. I don't know if we could have gotten anyone out an outside door, but I know it would have been safer trying.
By the way Alex recovered and is a much loved driving horse - a little bald on top, but still handsome as ever to us.
Our current boarding barn is a metal sheathed pole building with wood dutch doors. The top of the bottom door is slanted a little toward the outside and the bottom of the top door slants a little up from the outside. So when closing the doors, the top door 'catches' the bottom and makes it more like one unit. No leakage and this is the side of the barn that gets wind in a storm.
That said, the BO eventually put a run-in roof off our side of the barn (already had one on her side) and we all love it. Shades the barn better, NO chance of water in the barn and with the attached turnout gives the horses a 'run-in' outside the stalls.
I'm with DriveNJ, go with the Dutch doors for safety alone. I'm a volunteer FF and though there are a few of us who are horse people, most FFs have no idea about how to go into the barn, find the halter and lead, open your type of stall door, get it on a frightened horse and lead them through smoke and fire into an area with lights and sirens and diesel trucks! That's a scenario even experienced handlers would have difficulties with in such a high danger situation--and usually in the middle of the night, of course. Not to mention, by the time we get there it may not be safe enough to go in. OTOH, opening an exterior door gives the horse a chance, even if they will be loose.
We had a 90 cow dairy barn with tie-up stantions catch fire a few years ago. It was fully engulfed in 10-15 minutes. The only cows that survived were a few veal calves, b/c their pens were accessible from outside, and the 5 or so cows that weren't tied up. The farmers and their crew tried untying the cows until the smoke got too bad, but the cows would leave, plus there was only one small door at each end of the barn. Their new barn has a system where one switch releases every cow and the doors are massive.
Fortunately, the few horse barn fires we've had in our area were all barns where the horses had open access to stalls or were turned out at the time.
"A good man will take care of his horses and dogs, not only while they are young, but also when they are old and past service." Plutarch